A revival in Europe's appetite for initial public offerings (IPO) appears to be well underway, providing evidence of improving investor and business confidence after a lull in 2016.
Last week the sale of a quarter of Allied Irish Banks – largely state owned since its bail out in 2009 – raised €3bn for the Irish government, the largest European IPO this year
And last month, technology group Alfa Financial Software completed London's biggest listing of the year – a £1bn offering that many hope will encourage further IPO activity from the tech sector.
Recovery taking shape
During the first half of this year to date, 125 European listings have raised $18.1bn (€15.9bn), according to data from Dealogic. This marks a striking acceleration in activity given the slow start to the year. In the first half of 2016, 116 European listings raised $16.8bn.
In the first quarter the total value of IPOs in Europe from 53 listings was €4.5bn according to PWC's IPO Watch Europe – less than half of the most recent three-month period, but still 28% more than the €3.5bn raised in the first quarter of 2016.
Although first-half activity in 2017 has outpaced the similar period in 2016, it was only half the value of funds raised in the first six months of 2015 – with 162 deals raising $36.1bn.
But the recovery is taking shape.
And with central banks appearing to be on hold from any policy moves for at least the rest of the year issuers are reviving plans that were put on hold in the second half last year.
In 2016, the market all but dried up after Britain voted to leave the European Union and expectations rose that elections on the Continent would return anti-EU candidates.
London leads Europe’s listings
Most activity was driven by the London Stock Exchange with nearly half of the total value of IPOs being raised on the LSE.
"A strong medium term pipeline of both domestic and foreign issuers suggest that London is well placed to continue as Europe's premier exchange as the UK negotiates its exit from the EU," says Mark Hughes, capital markets leader at PWC.